Lausanne, Switzerland--Flatter straps, the increasing use of color
and styles that simultaneously suit men and women are among the watch
trends noted by the Swiss industry ahead of the 2011 holiday season.
According to a fall/winter 2011-2012 news release circulated by the SwissTime website, many watch brands now are offering timepieces with in-house movements, a “necessity” over the long run--especially given the recent move by the Swatch Group to reduce supplies of completed movements and movement parts.
While chronographs remain the industry’s top sellers, GMT and alarm
watches are growing in popularity. In addition, the newsletter states
that watchmakers are combining traditional mechanical movements with
digital technology, “which has gone from being delightfully retro to
When it comes to watch design, the smaller case sizes noted at BaselWorld earlier this year continues to be a trend. Watch straps are following suit, flattening out by a couple of millimeters.
PVD-coated stainless steel has retained its popularity as well, with
brands using coating in a variety of colors. Black remains a common
choice but watches also popping up in green, purple, pink and orange, as
well as more “subdued” shades such as chocolate brown or charcoal grey.
The boundaries are blurring between masculine and feminine styles in
the general world of fashion. Watch brands are grasping the trend, with
timepieces becoming increasingly unisex.
“Styles are more restrained, the exteriors are more refined and the
lines are softer,” the newsletter states. “In many cases, classic
vintage is being reinterpreted according to a more contemporary design
codes that appeal to men and women alike.”
Swiss watch exports grew 16 percent year-over-year in the
January-to-August time period to 1.3 billion Swiss francs, or $1.44
Asia remains the industry’s No. 1 export market, led by Hong Kong.
The United States “stepped up its rate with a higher-than-average
increase,” in watch buying, according to the newsletter.